“Follow your Heart” – What did Steve Jobs Mean?

Steve Jobs, the legendary founder of Apple, was one of the most inspirational figures of the modern age. His words had a profound effect on people, and one of his most famous pieces of advice is “follow your heart.” But what did he mean by this? Does it imply pursuing your dreams without considering practicalities and responsibilities? Or is it about listening to the inner voice that tells you what truly makes you happy? This week, let’s talk about what Steve Jobs meant when he said, “Follow your heart,” and how you can apply his philosophy to your life. 

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., was among the most innovative and influential figures in the tech industry. His impact on the world of technology has been so profound that many refer to him as the “Father of the Digital Revolution.” Jobs’ legacy extends beyond the products he created, encompassing the philosophy he lived by and the wisdom he shared with others.

One of Steve Jobs’ most notable quotes emerged from his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, where he said:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“Follow your heart” is a phrase used many times before Jobs popularized it, but he gave it a new meaning by applying it to the world of business and technology. To Jobs, “following your heart” entailed pursuing your passions and using them to create a positive impact on the world. It’s about discovering a way to do what you love and using your skills to make a difference. For Jobs, this meant creating innovative products that would change the world, but for each of us, it could signify something different.

What Does it Mean to Follow Your Heart?

For some, following their heart might mean leaving a corporate job to start a small business. For others, it might involve taking time off to travel and experience new cultures. It could even mean taking a sabbatical from work to pursue a hobby or passion. The crucial aspect is to find what makes you truly happy and fulfilled, and then discover a way to chase it.

It’s equally important to note that “following your heart” doesn’t mean disregarding practical considerations and responsibilities. Jobs himself recognized the importance of having a plan and working hard to achieve success. In his renowned Stanford University graduation speech, he said, “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”

In other words, “following your heart” involves finding a way to balance your passions and responsibilities. It’s about discovering a way to pursue what makes you happy while remaining practical and responsible. This process requires a great deal of commitment, hard work, and dedication, but the outcome is worth it.

Applying Steve Jobs’ Philosophy to Our Lives

So, how can we apply Jobs’ philosophy of “following your heart” to our lives? Here are some suggestions:

Listen to your heart: Following your heart means tuning into your intuition and inner voice. This inner voice can guide you towards what truly makes you happy and fulfilled. Take time to quiet your mind and listen to your heart. This can be done through meditation, journaling, or simply taking a walk in nature. By listening to your heart, you can gain clarity on what you genuinely want in life and take steps towards achieving it.

Identify your passions: Recognize what makes you feel fully alive, happy, and fulfilled. What are your interests and hobbies? What are you good at? What do you find yourself thinking about even when you’re not doing it? Once you’ve identified your passions, you can start considering how to turn them into a career or incorporate them into your daily life.

Take calculated risks: Following your heart often requires taking risks. You may have to leave a stable job or take a pay cut to pursue your passions. However, these risks are often worth taking if they lead to happiness and fulfillment. It’s essential to remember that calculated risks differ from reckless decisions. Before making a significant change, ensure you have a plan in place and have considered the consequences of your actions.

Surround yourself with positive influences: The people we surround ourselves with can significantly impact our happiness and success. Ensure you surround yourself with people who support your passions and encourage you to follow your heart. Being around negative influences can be draining and may cause you to second-guess your decisions.

Embrace failure: Embrace failure: Failure is a natural part of the journey to success. Don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from pursuing your passions. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity and use it to grow and improve. Jobs himself experienced many failures throughout his career, but he never let them define him. Instead, he used his failures to learn and become better. So, embrace failure and never let it stand in the way of following your heart.

What It’s Really About

Following your heart is really about finding happiness and fulfillment by pursuing the things you love and feel passionate about. By listening to your heart, identifying your passions, taking calculated risks, surrounding yourself with positive influences, never giving up, embracing failure, and practicing Heartfulness, you can make a positive impact on the world and live a life filled with purpose and happiness. So, don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith and follow your heart. You never know where it might lead you!

Two Important Questions to Ask Yourself

As you embark on your journey of following your heart, consider these two essential questions:

What is your heart longing for?

What can you do today to align the calling inside your heart with your decisions and actions?

I hope this exploration of Steve Jobs’ philosophy and the concept of “following your heart” inspires you to reflect on your passions, dreams, and aspirations. By taking practical steps and maintaining a balance between your heart’s desires and your responsibilities, you can create a meaningful and fulfilling life, just as Steve Jobs did.

So, be courageous and trust your heart, as it may guide you to places you never imagined possible.

From my heart to yours,

follow your heart

Filed under Personal Mastery

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